45 Facts About Patty Duke


Anna Marie "Patty" Duke was an American actress and mental health advocate.

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At age 15, Patty Duke portrayed Helen Keller in the film The Miracle Worker, a role she had originated on Broadway.

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Patty Duke's won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

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Patty Duke's progressed to more mature roles, such as Neely O'Hara in the film Valley of the Dolls and Natalie Miller in the film Me, Natalie .

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Patty Duke was raised in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, where her brother Raymond, her sister Carol, and she experienced a difficult childhood.

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When Patty Duke was six, her mother forced her father to leave the family home.

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When Duke was eight, her care was turned over to talent managers John and Ethel Ross, who after promoting Patty's brother, were looking for a girl to add to their stable of child actors.

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Patty Duke's never saw her father and saw her mother only when she visited to do the Rosses' laundry.

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One of Patty Duke's early acting roles was in the late 1950s on the soap opera The Brighter Day.

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Patty Duke's appeared in print ads and in television commercials.

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Patty Duke eventually testified before congressional investigators and broke into tears when she admitted she had been coached to speak falsely.

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Also in 1959, Patty Duke appeared in a television adaptation of Meet Me in St Louis as Tootie Smith, the role that had originated in the film version by Margaret O'Brien.

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The play was made into a 1962 film for which Patty Duke received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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At 16, Patty Duke was the youngest person at that time to have received an Academy Award in a competitive category.

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Duke's own series, The Patty Duke Show, created by Sidney Sheldon especially for her, began airing in September 1963.

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At that time, Patty Duke had not been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, but Sheldon did notice that she had two distinct sides to her personality, so he developed the concept of identical cousins with contrasting personalities.

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In 1999, the program's characters were revisited and updated in The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights, with Cindy Williams taking on the villain role of Sue Ellen Turner when Kitty Sullivan was unable to reprise her role.

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In 1969, Patty Duke starred in Me, Natalie, in which she played an "ugly duckling" Brooklyn teenager struggling to make a life for herself in the Bohemian world of Greenwich Village.

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Patty Duke won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for the role.

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Patty Duke returned to television in 1970, starring in a made-for-TV movie, My Sweet Charlie.

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Patty Duke was experiencing a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, which remained undiagnosed until 1982.

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Patty Duke's received her second Emmy in 1977 for the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings and her third in 1980 for a TV version of her 1979 stage revival of The Miracle Worker, this time playing Anne Sullivan to Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller.

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In 1990, Patty Duke's autobiography, Call Me Anna, was adapted for television; she played herself from her mid-30s onward.

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In 1992, Patty Duke portrayed the mother of Meg Ryan's character in the film adaptation of the play Prelude to a Kiss.

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Patty Duke received an Emmy nomination in 1999 for her appearances in three episodes of Touched by an Angel.

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In 1985, Patty Duke became the second woman, after Kathleen Nolan, to be elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, a post she held until 1988.

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Patty Duke gradually reduced her work schedule in the 2000s but took occasional TV roles, including guest appearances on shows such as Glee and the reboot of Hawaii Five-0.

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In May 2011, Patty Duke directed the stage version of The Miracle Worker at the now defunct Interplayers Theater in Spokane, Washington.

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In 2011, Duke appeared in public service announcements for the U S government, promoting the Social Security website.

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In 2015, Patty Duke made her final TV appearance, guest-starring on Liv and Maddie as Grandma Janice and Great-aunt Hilary, a pair of identical twins.

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Patty Duke's performed on TV shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show.

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In 1987, Patty Duke revealed in her autobiography that she had been diagnosed with manic depression in 1982, becoming one of the first public figures to speak out about her personal experience of mental illness.

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Patty Duke's suffered from anorexia nervosa and during her teenaged years, weighed as little as 76 pounds.

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Patty Duke's attempted suicide in 1967 and was again hospitalized for mental health problems in 1969, eventually being diagnosed as manic depressive in 1982.

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Patty Duke's subsequently became an activist for mental health causes.

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Patty Duke's lobbied the United States Congress and joined forces with the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to increase awareness, funding, and research for people with mental illness.

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In 2007, Patty Duke appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talking about her bipolar disorder.

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In 1963, when she won her Academy Award, Patty Duke became the youngest person to ever win an Academy Award in a competitive category.

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In 1965, Patty Duke married director Harry Falk, who was 13 years her senior.

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Patty Duke said in her 1987 autobiography that the marriage to Tell was never consummated and that Astin was the actual biological father of Sean.

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Patty Duke adopted Astin's three sons, and years later in 1998, Astin's sons reversed the adoption with Patty Duke's approval.

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Patty Duke married her fourth husband, drill sergeant Michael Pearce, in 1986, and remained married to him until her death 30 years later.

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From her marriage to Pearce until her death in 2016, Patty Duke occasionally used the name "Anna Patty Duke-Pearce" in her writings and other professional work.

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Patty Duke had three granddaughters by her eldest son Sean, actresses Alexandra, Elizabeth, and Isabella.

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Patty Duke's was cremated and her ashes were interred at Forest Cemetery in Coeur d'Alene.

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